Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Fifty years ago this month, a small Pentagon project designed to allow scientists to share time on the early versions of computers changed the world. The first links of what originally called "ARPANET" moved us all into the Internet Age, changing everything from business, dating, to daily reads.
Along the way, though, the Internet also became a new kind of battlefield. Nations, organizations, and even individuals are now hacking not just the networks themselves (a.k.a. "cyberwar," where the object is to breach a network), but also increasingly the people on them (what can be thought of as "likewar," where the object is to drive something viral through a mix of likes, shares, and sometimes lies).
Retired Adm. William McRaven, a career SEAL and a former JSOC commander, followed the stripping of a security clearance of former CIA chief John Brennan by asking the president to do the same to him. “Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John,” McRaven wrote. “He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.”
If you’ve spent any time in uniform or in the corporate world, the term “leadership” can be an enigma. It’s a confounding term, really, because it’s nebulous. It means different things to different people, and different types of it can be useful (or not) depending on a particular situation. Despite the ambiguity, most people know when it’s in place, or when it’s desperately needed.